Mike Tyson, the famously fearsome heavyweight boxing champion, wrote an op-ed for the New York Times recently that offers a wrenching look into his life and reveals insights about addiction from an unexpected source. Tyson was champion from 1986 to 1990. Throughout the 1990’s he fought to regain his crown, finally retiring for good in 2006. His career was marked by controversy and appallingly bad behavior, including a rape conviction and a famous incident in which he bit off part of his opponents ear in a fight with Evander Holyfield.
The column is remarkably articulate — much more so than expected from a man with his reputation as a thuggish brawler. Even if he had help with the writing, it shows a great deal of insight into his addiction and his own life. Take this passage, which will resonate with many:
Even though I possessed incredible discipline when it came to boxing, I didn’t have the tools to stop my slide into addiction. When I got a chance to get high — boom, I’d get high. I wouldn’t call my sponsor, wouldn’t call my therapist, wouldn’t call my sober companions.
No, in order to kick it, I had to replace the cravings for drugs or alcohol with a craving to be a better person.
The piece isn’t long; you owe it to yourself to have a look. See it Here